I’ve always loved the Bush Family. And when I learned of Barbara Bush’s death, I began reading some articles. It was then I discovered that she and our former President had lost a daughter too.
Barbara died on Tuesday, and before that she told her family that she didn’t fear death. That may be because the 92-year-old former first lady faced it before, in the hardest way imaginable. For me, after my cancer diagnosis, I feared death every.single.day. I just wanted to be here for my kids. On August 2, 2017, I woke up with a surreal feeling. And I was immediately realizing that I no longer was scared to die. I could relate to Barbara’s comment in every sense.
Back story: In 1953, soon after George H.W. Bush had moved his family to Midland, Texas to get into the oil business, the couple’s 3-year-old daughter complained about feeling tired.
A trip to the pediatrician gave them news they never expected to hear. Little Robin’s diagnosis was shockingly abrupt. It was Leukemia.
In October of that year, Robin died with her parents in the room. “For one last time I combed her hair and held our precious little girl,” “I saw that little body, I saw her spirit go.” Barbara wrote in a memoir. Heartbreaking.
A reporter spoke to the former first lady about Robin’s death last fall, 64 years to the month after Robin’s death. Sitting in her Houston living room, facing a portrait of her forever-young daughter, Barbara’s tears were fresh. 64 years. 64 years. And her tears were fresh. You see, we are forever changed.
Barbara Bush described the death of her daughter and the grief that followed as an agony, but one made more bearable by her relationship with her husband. Later, she would marvel that the tragedy that splits many couples had brought them closer. Agony, yet bearable.
Oddly, her hair had been a topic of discussion throughout her life. She supposedly went prematurely grayish white at the very young age of just 28. She explained her hair color changing at so early an age was due to her grief and bereavement of Robin. I’m not surprised. Grief is a beast and grips you to the very core of your being. It does things one would never think possible to your physical, emotional, and spiritual self.
On Saturday, former First Lady, Barbara Bush, will be buried by her sweet daughter, Robin. From the articles I read, she was ready. I can only imagine her sense of excitement knowing she was getting ready to go see Robin.
Usually not a day goes by where I don’t imagine my reunion with Michelle. And ironically enough, it looks exactly like this cartoon by an unnamed source. After I reach Michelle, I grab her in the tightest embrace, and it’s so tight that we both tumble to the ground of heaven’s floor. She is giggling the whole time and I am elated with joy.
RIP sweet Barbara Bush. Be happy with Robin for eternity.